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Stoner and Capirossi fully focused for Sachsenring

Stoner and Capirossi fully focused for Sachsenring

Leading the way in the MotoGP World Championship, Casey Stoner heads to Sachsenring this week for the first in a two-race series of races he has yet to finish in the premier class.

Leading the way in the MotoGP World Championship, Casey Stoner heads to Sachsenring this week for the first in a pair of Grands Prix at venues where he has yet to finish in the premier class.

The Australian crashed out during the race at Laguna Seca in the United States last year, but the scene of this week's Grand Prix played host to the definitive low point in Stoner's season. He missed the Sachsenring race after crashing his Honda RC211V during the Sunday warmup and then being refused clearance to start the German round of the championship.

However, the track still holds fond memories for Stoner from his lower cylinder class days. The Ducati Marlboro rider achieved his first ever podium at Sachsenring, and will be hoping to achieve his best ever result at the circuit when he undertakes his first 800cc German Grand Prix this Sunday.

"Every race we are still learning about the set-up of the bike, especially when we go to different types of circuit," says Stoner. "The Ducati and the Bridgestones have been working well at pretty much every circuit, so when we get to Germany we'll just concentrate and keep doing what we've been doing. I got my first-ever podium at the Sachsenring, the track is fun on a 125cc but it's a little bit more difficult to negotiate some of those turns on a MotoGP bike."

"You definitely need good side grip because through a lot of those long corners you need to keep the gas open as long as possible. You also need to get your head around those uphill and downhill corners - coming down the hill into those fast lefts gets a bit scary, you have to make sure your suspension doesn't bottom out, then you head back up the hill and then down again. As you come over the top at turn 12 the rear gets very light and wants to wriggle around, so you really need some traction over the top there."

Subject to intense speculation as to where he will be riding next season, Loris Capirossi has not had the first half to 2007 that he was expecting. He arrives at Sachsenring philosophical about his fortunes, with the attitude that hard work can turn around his year.

"I really like the Sachsenring, even if it always feels a little strange on a MotoGP bike, because there are so many slow and tight corners. I think the track will be more fun on the 800cc than it was on the 990cc because the new bikes are a bit more nimble, so they are a bit faster into and through the corners," analyses the Italian.

"The first part is too slow, but from turn six or seven it gets quite interesting. Turn 12 is a very exciting corner, because it's blind and you throw the bike in there at over 200 km/h, then you go steeply downhill on the run to turn 13. We go into this race after a couple of difficult weekends at Donington and Assen. But this is racing, sometimes things don't go your way and the only answer is to keep cool and keep working to make things better. We have been making some improvements to the bike over the last few races but so far we haven't been able to turn these improvements into a good result."

MotoGP, 2007, ALICE MOTORRAD GRAND PRIX DEUTSCHLAND, Casey Stoner, Loris Capirossi

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